We are with You at All Times
month at the Public Affairs Council PAC Conference
someone came up to me and was surprised our website
could be viewed on an iPhone. Well, I guess we have
not done a good job of getting the good word out.
In 2013, we updated our
website and one of the fabulous benefits is the ability
to view it on all devices…As pictured, I have it on my
iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, iPad, and my new Surface. My
Executive Director Ren Koozer has it on his Droid phone.
You can bring it up everywhere you can bring up other
There is nothing better than being able to answer
someone’s questions wherever I am in the world … and I
get a lot of questions everywhere. Now you do not need
to know where I am as long as you have access to
www.stateandfed.com and a subscription to our
online guides on lobbying, campaign finance, and
We will continue to shout
this from the rooftops because we know we have the #1
site to access the information you need to know for your
government relations or procurement lobbying work.
You just cannot buy it at the iTunes store…But, you can
contact us from your smart phone, and
can help set up your subscription. Well, I think I just
gave you something other than Words with Friends to do
on your phone!!
Until next month, stay
State and Federal
Communications. We will always have the
information you need, wherever you may be.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO
States Look to Move Presidential
Cummins, Esq., Research
Several states have introduced legislation changing their
primary election dates to early March in preparation for the
2016 presidential election. Michigan has already enacted such
legislation with the passage of Senate Bills 44 and 45. Both
Senate bills change the presidential primary election to the
second Tuesday in March. The bills take effect in time for the
2016 presidential primary election. In Minnesota, Senate File
1205, currently in committee, proposes to change the
presidential primary election to the last Tuesday in March. If
passed, this bill will also take effect in time for the 2016
A pair of companion bills have been introduced in the
Washington State Legislature. House Bill 2139 and Senate Bill
5978 each propose to change the date of the presidential primary
election to the second Tuesday in March. Senate Bill 5978,
introduced at the request of Secretary of State Kim Wyman,
passed the Senate on March 3, 2015, and was referred to the
House Committee on State Government.
In New Mexico, House Bill
346 proposes to change the state’s primary date to the third
Tuesday in March. If passed, this bill will take effect July 1,
2015, again in time for the 2016 presidential election.
In what is being dubbed the "SEC presidential primary," many
Southern states are also considering legislation to change their
primary election dates. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is
leading an effort to do so and is urging his counterparts in
Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alabama to adopt similar
measures. Kemp’s proposal is a regional primary election scheduled
for the first Tuesday in March. In Mississippi, companion bills
adopt Kemp’s proposal, amending the state’s primary election date to
the first Tuesday in March. Senate Bill 2531 passed the Senate and
reported favorably from the House Apportionment and Elections
Committee; House Bill 933 passed the House and eventually died in
Other states considering similar legislation include Oklahoma
(Senate Bill 233), Idaho (Senate Bill 1066), Florida (House Bill
7035), and Vermont (Senate Bill 76).
Summary of Changes UPDATE
Note Recent Changes to
John Cozine, Esq., Research
ALABAMA: The Alabama
Ethics Commission selected a new director, naming Tom
Albritton as its chief. Albritton is a former prosecutor and
is leaving the position of deputy director of the Office of
Prosecution Services to take the director position at the
Ethics Commission. According to the Alabama Media Group,
Albritton will focus on three areas upon assuming the role:
enforcement, education, and administration.
ARKANSAS: Gov. Asa
Hutchinson signed a bill authorizing the Ethics Commission
to oversee new ethics laws contained in a constitutional
amendment passed by voters in 2014. The amendment prohibited
lobbyist gifts and corporate contributions, but did not
provide the Ethics Commission authority to administer the
constitutional changes. Act 47 (House Bill 1002) became
effective immediately and allows the Ethics Commission to
begin issuing advisory opinions and guidelines concerning
Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) adopted a
regulation during its meeting on February 19, 2015, to ban
political fundraisers in the homes and offices of lobbyists.
Regulation 18215 modifies the definition of contribution
to include the value of a lobbyist home or office if the
lobbyist were to host a campaign fundraiser. Previously,
lobbyist fundraisers did not qualify as an otherwise
prohibited contribution so long as the value of hosting the
fundraiser did not exceed $500. The change in regulation was
necessary following recent amendments to the Political
Reform Act, effectively prohibiting all fundraisers hosted
by a lobbyist or lobbying firm. The FPPC rejected arguments
to exempt hosted fundraisers for local candidates or
fundraisers for which the lobbyist was reimbursed.
WASHINGTON: The Pierce
County Superior Court invalidated a Washington campaign
finance law requiring free legal advice given to a recall
campaign to be treated as a reportable campaign
contribution. Judge Katherine Stolz reasoned pro bono
representation in civil rights cases would be threatened if
such representation must be reported as a campaign
contribution and therefore subject to applicable state
political contribution limits. As a result of the ruling,
the Public Disclosure Commission cannot cap legal services
to political committees in a federal civil rights case, nor
can it compel political committees to report free legal
services as campaign contributions.
WISCONSIN: U.S. District
Court Judge Charles Clevert ruled several portions of
Wisconsin's campaign finance laws unconstitutional. The
court permanently enjoined the state from enforcing campaign
finance laws against groups discussing candidates. Those
laws, however, continue to be enforceable against express
advocacy. The court also struck down attribution and
disclaimer requirements as applied to radio speech 30
seconds or shorter and enjoined enforcement of limits on
what organizations could spend to solicit contributions to
their own political committees.
Jurisdictions Added to our
of municipalities and regional governments our research
associates track continues to grow. We now cover more
than 230 municipalities and local governments.
This is part of a continuous effort to better serve the
needs of our clients.
effort, we have recently added abridged jurisdictions to
our website. These entries, condensed due to the limited
number of relevant local laws, provide the core
information our clients need for their government
The new jurisdiction is:
Cranston, Rhode Island
Sussex County, Delaware
Legislation We Are
At any given time, more than 1,000
legislative bills, which can affect how you do business as a government
affairs professional, are being discussed in federal, state, and local
jurisdictions. These bills are summarized in State and Federal
Communications' digital encyclopedias for lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying and can be found in the client
portion of our website.
Summaries of major bills are also included
in monthly email updates sent to all clients. The chart below shows the
number of bills we are tracking in regard to lobbying laws, political
contributions, and procurement lobbying.
Number of Jurisdictions
To help keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in lobbying,
campaign finance, and procurement, State and Federal’s website contains
news updates for our clients. The Updates appear in the right-hand
column of your User Dashboard, which is the first thing you see after
logging in to the website. Updates appear on the list for 10 days after
their initial appearance. Clicking on the headlines will bring you to
the text of the article. A list of the news updates also appears on the
home page. However, you must log in to view the text of the articles.
Please take advantage of this valuable resource to help stay on top of
developments that affect your work.
Federal Communications’ Experts Answer Your Questions
is your chance to “Ask the Experts” at State and Federal
Communications, Inc. Send your questions to
(Of course, we have always been available to answer
questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and
we encourage you to continue to call or email us with
questions about your particular company or organization. As
always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers
or information you need.) Our replies are not legal advice,
just our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.
organization is under the impression that we don’t have to
register as lobbyists at the federal level if we keep our
lobbying activity isolated to our internal employees. I don’t
think this is accurate. Can you let me know the registration
requirement for federal lobbying?
You are correct to be skeptical of this viewpoint. Keeping
lobbying activity isolated to in-house personnel does not impact
the need to register. Registration at the federal level is
based on three criteria. All three must be met in order to
warrant registration, or, stated differently, registration is
required when all three criteria are met. The criteria are:
An organization spends or is expected to spend at least
$12,500 on lobbying activity during a quarterly period;
An organization has at least one employee who spends 20
his or her time engaged in lobbying activity; and
That same 20 percent employee makes more than one lobbying contact.
When considering whether the monetary threshold has been met,
all expenses must be considered, including, compensation and
reimbursed expenses associated with lobbying activities of all
employees, overhead, payments to outside lobbyists, and the
portion of any dues paid to outside membership organizations that
are allocated toward lobbying. Likewise, when determining
whether an individual employee meets the 20 percent standard, all time
engaged in any activity that is intended to support lobbying
contacts must be considered including background and preparatory
work, research, strategy sessions and conversations.
Once your organization meets all three thresholds, registration
with the House and Senate is required within 45 days. As a
federal registrant, quarterly activity reporting is required as
well as semi annual contribution reporting.
Expert - Rebecca South, Federal Compliance Associate
Misty Galvin, iHeartMedia, Inc., and Nola
in attendance at the Public Affairs Council National
held in Orlando, Florida.
A proud Kent State University alum,
Elizabeth Z. Bartz stands with "Flash" at a recent KSU
State and Federal Communications
employees acknowledged on their anniversary.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz, president and CEO,
celebrated longevity in our staff meeting acknowledging
Sarah Gray, Compliance Coordinator, on her sixth
anniversary, and Renold Koozer, Executive Director, on
his 17th anniversary.
State and Federal Communications
employees at PAC National
State and Federal Communications, Inc. is always
in attendance for the Public Affairs Council
National PAC Conference. The 2015
was held in Orlando, Florida. Attending
were [l to r] Dan Frydl, Marketing and
Sales Manager; James Warner, Sr., Esq., Sr. Compliance
Associate; Nola R. Werren, Esq.,
Client Specialist; Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and
CEO; and Renold Koozer, Executive Director.
Plan to say hello at future
events where State and Federal
will be attending and/or
speaking regarding compliance issues.
April 9, 2015
WGR Politics, PACS, and Grassroots,
April 13, 2015
April 14, 2015
Ohio Chamber of Commerce Annual
Meeting and Legislative Reception, Columbus, Ohio
April 22-23, 2015
PAC Spring Board Meeting,
April 27, 2015
April 30, 2015
DiversityBusiness.com Annual Program,
New York City, NY
May 14-16, 2015
Women in Government - Western
Regional Conference, Denver, Colorado
June 4-6, 2015
NCSL Executive Committee Spring
Meeting, Denver, Colorado
NOW is published for our customers and friends.
Click here to send us comments regarding
COMPLIANCE NOW e-newsletter.
Federal Communications, Inc. | Courtyard Square | 80 South
Summit St., Suite 100 | Akron, OH 44308 |
| 330-761-9960 |
330-761-9965-fax | 888-4-LAW-NOW|
The Mission of State
and Federal Communications is
to make sure that your
organization can say, "I Comply."
We are the leading
authority and exclusive information source
legislation and regulations surrounding campaign finance
and political contributions; state, federal, and
municipal lobbying; and procurement lobbying.
Contact us to learn how
conveniently our services will allow you to say "I
Comply" for your compliance activities.